Hydration

Many of us read or hear we need to drink water.

Why?

How much?

What kind?

 

Our bodies are made up of 55-60% water. Every single cell in your body is mostly composed of water.

Importance of water in our body:

  • improves oxygen delivery to cells
  • transports nutrients
  • moistens oxygen for easier breathing
  • absorbs shock to joints and organs
  • regulates body temperature
  • removes waste
  • flushes toxins
  • prevents tissues from sticking
  • improves cell to cell communication
  • empowers the body’s natural ability to heal …

Water is essential for our survival. We can go weeks without food but only three to five days without water. Most of us are fairly dehydrated and are so used to the symptoms that we don’t know what feeling fully hydrated feels like. Dehydration is likely the most common nutritional deficiency in America. We as a country drink many dehydrating beverages and not enough clean pure water. When we drink dehydrating beverages we actually need to consume more water to make up for the loss of water.

Dehydrating beverages include coffee, many teas including some herbal teas, juices, alcoholic beverages, and soda.

Mild Symptoms of dehydration:

  • fatigue
  • anxiety
  • irritability
  • depression
  • cravings
  • cramps
  • headaches

Severe Symptoms:

  • heartburn
  • joint pain
  • back pain
  • migraines
  • fibromyalgia
  • constipation
  • colitis

When your body loses as little as 2% water you experience fatigue, 10% can cause significant health issues including digestive, cardiovascular, immune, and musculoskeletal. Greater than 10% water loss can cause death.

Ok, now that we have established how ESSENTIAL water is to our health lets talk about HOW MUCH and WHAT KIND.

You can use the following equation for about how much water you need. Keeping in mind biodiversity we all vary in our needs it could be a little more or a little less.

Body weight divided by 2.

This is really the minimum amount. If you consume dehydrating beverages remember you will need to add 12-16 more ounces of water per 8 ounces of dehydrating ( diuretic ) beverage you consume.

Side note, for your body to absorb water you need electrolytes. Electrolytes are minerals that become capable of conducting electricity when dissolved in water.  They do four important things: control osmosis of water between fluid compartments, help to maintain proper ph, carry electrical currents, and serve as cofactors needed for optimal activity of enzymes.

Yes, there are many fancy electrolyte waters on the market and some are great but really all you need is to consume good quality salts in your diet. No the salt shaker at your local diner or better known as Morton Table Salt is not what I am talking about. In fact, I would suggest staying away from Morton Table Salt altogether. It has added iodine ( which most of us do not need) and it adds a metallic taste to foods. Instead use kosher, Himalayan sea salt, Maldon salt, …

Look, drink water that you have available. Of course, I would say I try to drink fresh filtered water. Some people are very particular about their water and with good reason. We can debate another time about spring water, artisanal water, reverse osmosis, charcoal filtered……but the message I hope you hear today is to drink good clean water.

Side note, buying those plastic bottle municipal water is not a great deal. The plastic is a huge waste and fills our landfills. The  Bisphenol A (BPA) and dioxins in plastic bottles or plastic containers leach into the water you are consuming and paid for.  The leaching of BPA  is BAD for you. Reuse glass jars at home or invest in a good long-term water bottle that you can refill and carry with you. If you purchase plastic look for BPA free.  If you read the labels on those throwaway water bottles you can buy in bulk, they are treated municipal water. In other words, tap water like you can get from your faucet at home. Instead, invest in a filtration system at home or purchase water in bulk to be used at home like Alhambra or Pure Water.

Helpful hint: start your day with 8-16 ounces water or even better water with a lemon squeezed into it. You will feel refreshed and hydrate your body for the day. SIpping water all day is better than chugging large quantities a few times a day but really as long as you are getting the water into your body, your body will thank you!

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